Monday, October 24, 2011

Jetting to the 20th Century...

for a visit, we nearly finished Howard Zinn's final chapter of "A People's History..." Students continue to draft their papers and, in response to Zinn's attention to the military-industrial complex, we listened to the first half of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell speech.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eeek! How is it Thursday?

Wednesday, we worked a bit on the last presentation changes.

I assigned a 1000-word essay with the first draft due on a shared GoogleDoc Saturday at 5 p.m. My plan is to read and respond Saturday evening (assuming my son's football games don't go on forever) or Sunday morning.

Look for updates on your own GoogleDoc page by Sunday afternoon.

In today's class we're going to avoid being "trapped by history," as Peter Carey says, and read chapter 23 of Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." In this chapter, 'The Coming Revolt of the Guards,' Zinn all but predicts the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Students, post your thesis questions/statements in the comments section below.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

With One Student...

Leta's at violin and Riley is ill.

Craig will take time to work on his paper, having stated: [thesis (mostly) of his choice].

Riley and Leta should state theirs and begin their work also. This paper is a 1,000 word demonstration of their understanding of some specific American historic, cultural aspect of the period between 1491 and the mid-18th century. We narrowed topics last week and the first finished draft is due in shared GoogleDocs form Saturday evening, 21.Oct.11, at 6 p.m. [19.Oct.11 edit: Note updated day and time.]

I posted links to the three students' blogs. Though, I'm not requiring that you use them as repositories for your resources and writing (yet), you might consider having one central place--outside of your computer--for such work. You can link GoogleDocs work, images, articles, etc.

If we have time, Craig and I will look at some well-composed, well-written blogs in hopes of raising your interest and awareness of this form of publishing, and Craig and/or I will post links of those we like or those that look useful.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

12.Oct.2011, J Edwards, Theses, and Docs

Played w/ Google Docs.

Discussed Rugged Individualism as part of Riley's thesis about new opportunities. For some "beyond expectations" credit, anyone who likes can write a few paragraphs about what was happening in 1984 that would prompt Roger Rosenblatt to write such a piece.

Students took collective notes on Google Docs.
You can find an edited version and the original of Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" there.

For homework, and yes, I realized it's a less than imaginative assignment, read the rest of Chapter 3 in your text and answer the review questions.

On Monday you will declare your thesis statement and begin to draft your paper. We'll discuss process and work-shopping Monday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thesis Statements

Values that remain from the days of exploration and colonization of the Americas:

Abundant money
Laws ***
Christian religion
Work ethic***
American Exceptionalism (City on a Hill idea)

Those that appeared not to be part of the picture:

***Puritans notwithstanding

For homework read the first section of Chapter 3 in your text and answer all the review questions. Keep in mind any ancestors and their occupations you discovered last week as you read.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Genealogy Day

Leta in w/ Mr. Cantor for much of the class.
Craig is at the dentist.
Riley found the first person in his family to come to America, Felix Wenger of France.

We talked about what was happening in France when his ancestor was born around 1819.

Leta's family, the Maddocks (Maddoks, Braddox etc.) may have come to New England and been here for the 1790 census.

In the name of making sure we keep in touch with the history that is happening right here, right now, read Joe Stiglitz's Vanity Fair article, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%.

And here's the Economist's take on Steve Jobs' death and the American economic decline.

If you're still interested in current economic news--an interesting vantage point just now, if nothing else--former Labor Secretary Robert Reich worries with Ben Bernanke about Europe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

About 10 percent...

of the school year has passed already and we're still talking about the effects of Europeans in the New World. Oy!

All I can say is, Beginnings Matter.

For tomorrow, look at our list of American Values and write down three thesis statements about what qualities were evident from the days of exploration and colonization, or what qualities were missing. Include in your statement a guess about the why or how of your observations from the readings.

Since you will choose from among these for an upcoming1000 word essay, think and write carefully. Keep in mind scaffolding techniques from English that help you include your own experience/heritage etc.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Other Early Colonies

We went over the highlights of the Popham article and most of the second chapter in your text. We thought about the paternalistic British inheritance laws and their influence on New England's history, whether in relation to Raleigh Gilbert's choice to return to England or the Salem Witch Trials era land disputes.

Students should take notes on the remainder of the chapter, be ready for a quiz, and think about repeating themes that interest them for an essay in coming days.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Popham Colony, Explorers

Discussed the early days of "Virginia" and the failed Popham Colony.

We compared the motivation of the eventual Puritan/Pilgrim colonists to those in the South, listing the slave economy and Puritan ethics as major differences.

One theme that continues today is the ability of New England to feed itself and the South's reliance on outside sources for daily sustenance.

We brainstormed what might have been economic success had the Popham Colony taken hold and discussed Elizabeth 1's "Armada Portrait," from the text.

For homework read the Athena Review piece on the Hunt map and Jeffrey Brain's (re)discovery of the Popham Colony. Please note citations at the end.

Also read from page 26 to 44 in your excellent text and re-do any quiz questions to add points to your quiz grades.